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Bleeding Ear Canal

Bleeding from your ear canal can be scary. Fortunately the majority of cases look worse than they actually are.

Causes for Bleeding Ear Canal

  • Home ear cleaning. Probably the most common cause for bleeding ear canals is people cleaning or scratching the inside of their ear canals with sharp fingernails, toothpicks, or q-tips which scratch or cut the surface skin.
  • Infections of the outer ear can lead to enough irritation and swelling of the underlying skin to cause bleeding with contact. Middle ear infections can lead to a pressure build up which can ultimately lead to rupture and bleeding of the ear drum if not treated.
  • Rarely sonic shockwave blasts from explosions or dramatic pressure changes during diving can rupture the ear drum leading to bleeding.
  • Tumors of the ear can present with bleeding. Fortunately these are rare.
  • Severe head trauma can lead to fractures of the bones encompassing the ear leading to bleeding trickling out of the ear canal.
  • Foreign objects stuck in the ear can lead to irritation and eventual light bleeding from the ear.
  • Blood thinners like aspirin or warfarin can predispose you to an ear bleed with trivial contact with the ear such as itching with your finger.

human ear

Symptoms of Bleeding Ear Canal

  • There may be pain from the cause of the bleed.
  • Red blood streaks or flow.
  • Reduced hearing.

Bleeding Ear Canal Treatment

Bleeding from the ear should prompt a visit to your doctor where they can promptly look inside the ear with an otoscope and tell you whether this is a serious or minor cause and offer treatment.

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    Last Updated:
    April 22 2016
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